New Horizon and the Gospel

Below is my handbook from New Horizon 22 years ago.


If I didn’t have a soft spot for it, I probably would have entitled this post ‘Parachurch embraces Liberalism shocker’.

Screenshot 2017-08-08 21.19.19

This year New Horizon have a woman doing the morning Bible teaching, and both the main speakers (English and Scottish Episcopalians) have women as assistant ministers in their home congregations. The worship is being led by a husband and wife couple, and the wife is the worship pastor in their church.

Why does it matter if they have a woman teaching? And if the others speaking are in favour of it? Well if resisting a clear Biblical command (1 Tim 2:12) isn’t enough (!), Richard Phillips wrote a very timely article last week with yet another example of women’s ordination being the slippery slope that ends up with the gospel itself being lost.

For a reminder of better days, here’s Alistair Begg speaking in 2005 on what now seems a very radical topic: ‘The Bible: Convincing the Mind, Captivating the Heart’

New Horizon 2010 in clash with TermonScotland shocker!

Many RPs will just have attended their last New Horizon for two years after the discovery that next year it will clash with the International Holiday Conference in Gartmore! Bad times!! Hopefully the speaker next year isn’t too exciting!

RP interest this year included an ‘I came, I saw, I painted’ seminar by Vincent McDonnell and a few seminars on relationships by Rachel Gardiner!


Only made it on Wed night – big Don Arthur Carson in powerful form – good summary of the talk here.

Blogging for Jesus

I now point you to two talks on the Christian and blogging!

The first one comes from this summer’s New Horizon. Kevin Hargaden, who works with Maynooth Community Church, was given the task of talking about ‘Blogging for Jesus’. It didn’t sound too promising, especially if you had read the wee description thing that New Horizon gave it, and obviously I wasn’t going to go to a seminar on blogging anyway! However, after he did the seminar, Kevin put the powerpoint he used on his website, which made the talk sound a lot more promising, with slides like this where he quoted his remit from New Horizon and gave his response:

New Horizon 2008 - Blogging for Jesus
“I’m totally unconvinced that we can blog for Jesus”

So I listened to it and it’s good. Your man’s church sounds pretty cool as well, so if you’re interested in a Presbyterian church contextualising down south, it’s also worth a listen.


Here’s the mp3: Kevin Hargaden – Blogging for Jesus (New Horizon 2008) (60MB)

Then last Sunday, David Silversides did an after-church meeting on ‘Internet Blogging and the Christian’, which would probably be useful for anyone involved in discussing stuff on the internet. Both talks came down hard on internet anonymity.

Here’s a summary:

‘This address sets out some principles to guide us in the manner in which we are to engage with others in discussion forums and via weblogs (or blogs).

1. Motive
– Anonymous posting
– the danger of self-publicising
– the danger of escapism
– we must always aim at the glory of God

2. Biblical standards of speech apply to this form of communication
– Truthfulness
– Thoughtfulness
– Confidentiality
– Charity

3. The danger of internet pseudo-martyrdom
Contending for the truth ought not to be confined to this mode of activity, as though our duty were discharged wholly by this means. Faithful contending often involves face to face engagement – the example of Knox and Calvin.

4. Stewardship of time
– The need of restraint and discipline
– the Sabbath and the use of computers.

5. The danger of encroaching on the role of the ministry.
The absence of accountability and the threat to church unity.’

“Don’t think you can be a hero for the faith simply by using the internet. We have to face people. We have to look people in the eye and tell them the truth…Don’t imagine that we’ve been a martyr or a hero for the faith when we’ve actually had to face nobody”

I close with my favourite quote on blogging:

“The whole blog phenomenon is inherently ridiculous; the more serious it tries to be, the more absurd and pompous it becomes” (Carl Trueman, ‘The Theatre of the Absurd’ in Minority Report, p. 171) (if you have a blog – read that chapter!)

New Horizon 2003 and 2007

Two of the 2003 Seminars, from 2 of today’s leading historians :-P

Turning Points 2 – Crawford Gribben – Was there an Irish Reformation? (8.2 MB)

Turning Points 3 – Andrew Holmes – The Ulster Revival of 1859 (6.6 MB)


The speaker at New Horizon 2007 will be Steve Estes. After Alistair Begg and John Piper, it would have been hard to maintain that quality of speaker, but Estes could be good. He has degrees from Westminster Theological Seminary (Carl Trueman) and has co-authored a number of books with Joni Eareckson Tada. Indeed, rumour has it that Estes was being targeted as a speaker for either the now defunct CTI (before a lack of “yankee twangs and dollars” (PL) brought an abrupt end to the best weekend ever) or a Mission week. You can listen to sermons from him on his church website. Having eight children, most people will be relieved if he turns out to be a Protestant, never mind worrying about how Reformed he is.

The Bible Readings will be done by Ray Ortlund, Jr. of Christ Presbyterian Church, Nashville. Previously, he was on the staff of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Don Carson) and, unlike last year’s Bible Reader, probably doesn’t go round claiming to be mates with ML-J.

NH takes place from Saturday 21st to Friday 27th July 2007.

Glenmanus GO Team 2006

I spent last week in Portrush on the Glenmanus GO team. Team members were Stephen “Jonny” McCollum (formerly known as Stephen McCollum-Cullybackey), Amanda Moffett, Claire Wilson, Charlotte Hyndman, Amy & Catherine Morrison and Emmeline & Erin McCollum. We all arrived at the Manse on Saturday night and were shown the leaflet we would be giving out:

You couldn’t make it up!

The team then went on a short walk where we came across Samuel’s other car, hidden in the street across from the manse!


Then the boys went to Norman and Nancy McCollum’s – best GO team hosts ever! You kinda get the feeling that it’s going to be a good week when you spend the last hour of the Saturday night being bounced up on a trampoline in the dark while constantly giggling, and playing trampoline Duck, Duck, Goose :) On Sabbath morning we had French toast for breakfast. That started an unbroken trend of warm breakfasts, which also included bacon, scrambled eggs, freshly made muffins, freshly made pancakes (chocolate chip – amazing!) and a fry on the last day! Sounds good, eh girls?! After morning worship there was a congregational lunch (apparently only camp get the traditional Glenmanus hot dogs, but we had salad which was still good actually!) and then an open air service on the grass above the West Strand. Others in the Presbytery came along to support the GO team and congregation.

Doing the psalm introductions wearing a rug wasn’t really going to help Samuel’s cause…

Then the team went back to the manse. Andrew & Brian Blackburn and Leslie came too, and after discovering that all 4 Presbyteries were represented on the team, Andrew promptly invented the game ‘Presbyteries’ and fired RP trivia questions at us for about an hour solid. His favourite type of question was ‘Name [insert number] elders in [insert congregation]’. In the interests of telling the whole story, I suppose it should be stated that I completely wiped the floor with the rest of them (not wanting to blow my own horn or anything), and in the process picked up the first and only yellow card ever to be handed out in the short history of the game. Then we had tea and evening worship, followed by a final HBC planning meeting, where health and safity regulations reached new extremes.

On Monday morning (after set quiet time in manse – good stuff!) we started giving out The Anchor. After lunch we had the first of our team Bible studies – an ABCD on Joshua. The heatwave was back on in force so we did it outside. I also finally met the famous Matt & Heidi Filbert as they walked past just before we started. Titus just moved in next door to them – man, I’m so jealous!! We spent the rest of the afternoon getting set up for the ‘Kidorama’ Holiday Bible Club. The team’s duties at the club were organising the games and doing the Memory Verses – but before we could worry about that the grass had to be cut!

Stephen was handed the strimmer…

…For about 2 secs till Emmaline had to fix it

The best bit was cutting the grass on the banking

The rest of them set up for the club…well, that’s what they were meant to be doing!

After the HBC we headed down the road to New Horizon. We missed the start of John Piper, but managed to get seats in one of the overflow tents – they’ve changed them about this year, so we could actually see the man himself in real life!! He was fantastic for the half hour or so we heard (make sure and buy the CDs!) He disappeared right at the end however – no photo!! Nooooooooooooooooooo!!

Tuesday followed a pretty similar pattern to Monday. Glenmanus have their own photographer dude called Clifford, who took a few (hundred!) snaps of the first two nights of the HBC. Here are a few:

Amanda watches some kids hit about a big inflatable ball



Reuben desperately tries to stop Scott – great photo!


Erin laughing

And again


Emmaline doing the singing

One of the crafts was making balloon dogs, a few of them were let down by inflatable Timmy however

Eleanor and Andrew

Quick cricket went down well too


Nathaniel with the windchimes he made

A typical Erin pose!

After the club, the whole team went back to Norman and Nancy’s house. First of all we played in their new paddling pool (so big it’s basically a swimming pool, with a filter than continually cleans the water and stuff). Me and Jonny had been wanting to go in it the whole time in the heat, now however it was a cold evening! But as I told Jonny, you only live once, so we all got in (eventually!).

I got soaked by Amanda. Not Happy! You can see the paddling pool and the trampoline in the background

Then we had a BBQ for marshmallows (or ‘marshmellows’ in the local dialect – see also Chicago, Lasagne…) and smores.

Amy looking totally wasted

Charlotte eating a smore

Then we went inside and played a few games. After the girls left for the manse, me and Stephen played chess (Bishop J. C. Ryle and all that), where I killed his king using my pawn. Just thinking, can’t believe I forgot about the easy chant!

On Wednesday we gave out the remaining leaflets. Me and Jonny ended up basically in Portstewart before we ran out, well into County Londonderry!!

The best moment of his life!


I now have a firmer grasp of county boundaries than when I wrote that post about the Share Centre!

Who are ya?

You had to climb up pretty high to get to some apartments – here we catch Jonny and Charlotte standing with both arms the same length (actually, his arms are bound to be about twice the length…)

In the afternoon we had an open air Psalm sing (117C, 19, 1, 23) (doing the thing where you talk about Creation showing there is a God, and singing the first half of Psalm 19, and then saying that we need the Bible to tell us how to get to Heaven and singing the 2nd part – great!) over at the harbour. After it, we gave out leaflets to the people sitting about.

At night, me and J looked at some old photos of the McCollum kids – I had to take a photo of this one as Reuben and Nathaniel look so angelic! Just like real life! ;)



On Thursday morning we did some door to door work, asking people if they’d read the leaflet and what they thought of it and stuff. Not many good conversations. In the afternoon we had another psalm sing in the same place as Wednesday’s, and then came back and started blowing up happy balloons to give to the children at the end of the HBC (thursday was the last night of it). We got sloppy joes for tea!! (from Nancy). However before tea a rather solemn event occurred – having given out 3,000 leaflets emblazoned with the question ‘Will YOUR anchor hold?’, we finally snapped…



Stephen and Amy

Stephen, Steven and Stephen – I wasn’t for hanging about too long, notice the football going on in the background!

After the kids had all went home, there was ice cream for the helpers:


I’m taller than Stephen! (who nearly got kicked off the team for being taller than Big Sam)

Team photo

Amy going loopy – I wonder what she was like at 4am the next morning when she was leaving to go to Inglin!



You can get out on the roof of the tower! Never managed it though, would have needed ladders. Seems a lot more promising than getting up Newry’s however! Which I’ll get up yet!!


On the last day, after little sleep (mainly because of a long discussion in which me, Jonny and Emmaline discussed world dominion plans based around his dad) we met at the manse for our last study on Joshua. We then went round and prayed each for each other for what we were doing in the future and went and played rounders (sound familiar?!). Incidentally, Jonny is on the Dirty Ballymena Academy ‘C’U Committee for next year and wants prayer as he seeks to introduce the Bible into CU! (Emmaline is on the Coleraine High one and wants to introduce Psalms, but Jonny isn’t being so adventurous!) He’s been told that they tried having Bible studies once, but they stopped them because nobody came! Anyway, here’s the children’s game of rounders (or the sport of BASEBALL! to my American readers) (as Philip spent 2 years trying to explain to them in Cyprus):




Then it was on to Barry’s to spend the 2 bags of tokens that Nancy had very kindly given us that morning!

Amanda and Erin on the new thing just in the door

Claire hoping that the horses weren’t going to suddenly turn upside down!

Then we went to Morelli’s for tea:


Get it down ye!


Then we went on a walk and came back for ice cream!


Then we went home. What a week! Emmaline informed us on the Saturday night that no-one had ever come back on a Glenmanus GO team (and they’d had 3 previous ones before we came!) but I really don’t see why! Barrels of fun all round!! And getting to help the congregation with their outreach at the same time!

Thanks to the many of you who were praying for us, it was really appreciated. No team is going to run well without God answering prayer. Continue to pray that the work done will bear fruit in God’s time, and that people will come to church, hear God’s Word preached and be saved.

Thanks to Stephen/Jonny for a lot of the photos